Wednesday, July 10, 2013 | 2 a.m.
As a single parent of a special-needs child, I feel this story came across negatively, and it may cause people, especially those not close to anyone affected with any special needs, to be scared and unsympathetic to this dilemma.
Yes, children with special needs do have more issues and behaviors that can affect other students, staff, etc.
Yes, parents should not have to worry about their children’s safety while in the classroom.
However, mainstream children have issues and behaviors that affect other students and staff as well. Mainstream children can just as easily be worried about their safety in a classroom without any special-needs children.
In this situation, the school did not do enough to protect the other students or proactively help to keep it from happening again. Segregating this child is not the answer. Had the school administration had the resources available to support the teachers and aides in the classroom, things could have gone very differently. These parents were basically forced to bring the law into it to get the school to step up and make some changes.
I strongly feel that better training is required for all school staff members, as they are involved with kids that have issues, special-needs or not. Bullying, bringing weapons to school, drugs, etc., are all issues in mainstream classrooms that cause many parents to worry about their children everyday. Emphasizing that they should be scared of special-needs children is not helping.
Encouraging — no, demanding — that parents and school administrators get better training on how to handle all of these issues is the best way to start making a difference.